The BBC's numerous radio stations have listeners the world over, not just Brits sitting down to their afternoon tea and crumpets. In fact, the English-language World Service station alone boasts a global audience of 66 million. Tapping into these broadcasts outside of the UK is as simple as pointing your browser towards the right website, but from today, the BBC has begun rolling out its iPlayer Radio app internationally, making streaming on mobile devices that much easier.
The app's new audience can take advantage of the majority of features right off the bat. These include streaming live radio programs (duh), as well as archives of past broadcasts (as long as they're within the 30-day catch-up window). Users can also check out the daily schedules, track lists DJs have played, as well as mixes, news clips, live performances and other curated highlights from across all the BBC's stations. You can download podcasts to listen to offline, too, and the app even has a radio alarm clock feature.
There are a couple of extras Brits have access to that others won't, however. Where rights restrictions apply -- relevant to some live sport broadcasts, for example -- streaming will be disabled; and right now, downloading already aired programs for offline listening isn't possible ("for the time being," the BBC says). The iPlayer Radio app will be available for iOS and Android, through both Google Play and Amazon app stores, but has only spread as far as Ireland today.
This minor expansion will allow the BBC to iron out any bugs it encounters as it opens the service up to a wider user base -- but make no mistake, this is the beginning of a global rollout, with more countries being added over the next few weeks and beyond.